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    We Love Weddings

    I still remember the day that we photographed our first wedding. Looking back, there was so much to learn. Being a wedding photographer means being in five different places and moments, all at the same time, and it’s daunting when you first step into those shoes. But there are moments that seem as though I was in them yesterday– seeing the bride coming down the stairs, dress trailing behind her; the groom’s tears as he spoke his vows; their joyful waves as they speeded away on a boat down the Willamette River. Each wedding has been like that for me. It’s the moments that stay, each of them as individual as the couple that we’re photographing. Each event has it’s own personal stamp. It’s finding those qualities that really thrill me as a photographer. I love seeing them through a different lens than the last and telling each story as a new chapter to our own story of documentation. It’s an incredible privilege to be trusted to tell the story of one of the most important days in one’s life. And it’s not something that I– we, because Will and I still photograph as a team, so that those moments have complementary perspectives– take lightly. I love that this is what I do with my life.

    Thinking and reflecting on the past year has brought all of that back. This has been a year of significant change in our life. We welcomed a new child and life took some twists and turns. But through all of that, my love of life’s seminal moments remains. We’ve continued to tell those stories in the lives of some beautiful couples. My mind has traveled over the last several days back in time and so I thought that I’d share a few of my favorite moments with you.

    I love taking the bride and groom off by themselves, both before and after the wedding. The day is filled with so much activity but for those few moments, the intimacy and love that they share is theirs alone.

    This bride planned her entire color palette on the shoes– aka The Manolo Blahnik shoes worn in the Sex and the City movie by Sarah Jessica Parker. Her mom surprised her with them and I just had to take a stunning shot of them to do them full justice.

    When there are little people involved in the wedding I know that there will be some great candid moments. Alice was the niece of the bride and she was peeking into the barn, where everyone was assembled waiting for the processional. And when it came her turn to go down the aisle, she nearly ran because she was so excited.

    It’s the little touches, like taffy to guests that reminded this bride of her childhood, that I adore. Each summer, her family took a vacation from their home in Seattle to Cannon Beach and she returned there, with her New York-bred husband, for a wedding that celebrated those memories.

    The first look is often the most romantic and emotional– and can be the setting for the very best pictures. I loved that Levant was the one shedding tears during their meeting, at the Surfsands Resort at Cannon Beach.

    The father’s toast can also bring a lot of laughs. Jack’s dad was hysterical and told a story that even Rachel hadn’t heard. Their wedding at his school in Colorado, in the spring, was beautiful.

    I love taking a traditional moment and making it something special. These bridal portraits (and their first look) were set in the Driftwood Room of the Hotel Deluxe in Northwest Portland. The lighting looked like something out of a Humphrey Bogart film and so we just followed the mood.

    Every wedding has something special, or three or four or ten things. Sara’s grandmother had engraved this handkerchief for her “something blue.”

    There is simply nothing like a vineyard wedding for gorgeous shots. We’re so blessed in Oregon to have the thriving wine industry, and vintners who share their beautiful spaces.

    Choosing a venue with stunning details– like the wedding above at Zenith Vineyards in Oregon’s wine country, or the bar at the Secret Society Ballroom in NE Portland– guarantees that we’ll have lots of inspiration to draw from. And the girls chatting made the portraits so much more convivial than just saying something silly.

    We’ve photographed everything from low-key green weddings to totally luxe affairs. This wedding for an intimate twenty-five guests, at a private residence in Lake Oswego, was absolutely stunning. The entire affair had a Parisian theme because the groom had proposed at the top of the Eiffel tour!

    This was Evelyn’s grandmother’s brooch and though she had passed away years before, wearing as the crowning part of her ensemble meant that she was there for each moment with her.

    I LOVE seeing the reactions of all of the friends and family. Brian’s mom was over the moon during their ceremony
    in their hometown in Eastern Washington. The bride literally got married in her childhood backyard. How cool is that?

    One of the fun things about photographing a couple immediately after the ceremony is that NOTHING
    can stop traffic like a bride and groom, even a MAX train! Passersby are always so excited for them.

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    The new Reversed Lens Photography Studios

    If you’ve followed us at all over the last year or so you’ve noticed some changes in our dynamic. Things are slower, more focused. Life and businesses ebb and flow and so have we. We’re continuing to take portrait commissions but space is limited to a few sessions a month. We’re also working closely with NW Kids Magazine now as the staff photographers which is crazy exciting and fun. And our blog will soon be changing to incorporate the many facets of our studio so that you get a more well rounded picture of what life is like for our studio. It’s been a brilliant evolution, in all respects, and we hope that you’ll enjoy seeing it unfold.

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    Our little Pea (now called Big Pea) turns five

    It’s really hard for me to believe that our little girl is five years old. She was just one and a half when we started RLP. She’s grown right along with the business, from a tiny little thing to this amazing, verbose, inquisitive, creative, completely real little big person. She’s totally at home with herself and with just about everyone else. She was quite precocious from the start and for the first year, when our photography business was run from our living room, she made friends with our clients within about three minutes of them walking in the door. When we opened our studio she was a frequent fixture and became quite adept at navigating the social morays of meeting new people. What that means in colloquial parlance is that she’s one of the most talkative, outgoing kids I know! She’s five in the normal five ways and some days makes me take long, deep breaths. But all in all she is so wonderful that I can’t do anything but be glad beyond glad that she is my daughter.

    Kathy - April 17, 2011 - 4:08 am

    Happy Birthday, Big Pea! May you continue to grow into an amazingly beautiful woman!

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    Project: Bring A Baby Safely Into The World is almost complete

    Remember that post about life happening while we were making other plans? Well, pretty much the last year has been full of life taking us for a ride. First there was a pregnancy that sent me onto bed rest during what would have been our busiest season of the year. Trust me when I say that bed rest is neither restful nor conducive to meeting your clients’ needs in any sort of quick fashion. It’s hard to work from a prone position! But our clients were brilliant and understanding and deserve all the thanks in the world for bearing with us. Then things got more complicated and bed rest went to BED REST and then to being hospitalized to try to prevent our baby from being born premature. But life still had other plans and we welcomed our second little girl, Paige, into the world a month early.

    But wait! There’s more! In the first three weeks she was home our newly expanded family shared a gastrointestinal flu and then bronchitis. Tiny premature lungs don’t cohabitate well with infections of the pulmonary system and so the end of February took us back to the hospital, to the Pediatric ICU at Emanuel Hospital. We are incredibly lucky to live in a city, and a country, where access to medical care is so readily, immediately available, and though it took time, we were able to bring our baby home safe and sound at last. We’re still easing into life as a family of four and Paige’s world will stay fairly small for some time until she’s a little heartier. But it’s nice to be returning to a more normal RLP routine. In the last few weeks we’ve had the chance to take on a few very fun projects: capturing the crew of the new NW Kids Magazine staff including the brand spanking new editors, Kelley and Beth of the adorable blog Cleeo & Bea, and a photoshoot with the kindergarteners of Hilltop Preschool that I can’t reveal because it’s one of the big ticket items at their upcoming auction. I’m excited to bring these and other fun new projects back to the blog soon and to share our life with you all once again. All in due time, right?

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    Holiday family portraits in Gabriel Park (SW Portland)

    Stuart, Becky, Lauren, Bailey & Hannah
    November 6, 2010
    Gabriel Park in SW Portland, Oregon

    I always have this moment of trepidation right before I begin a session: will they like us? Will they just relax, be themselves and in the moment? But this day, I had no need to worry. When two of the girls stepped out of the car for the session with bright pink Hunter boots on, I knew that we were going to have a fabulous time. And we did, indeed, have a great session with them. They’re such a fun, relaxed, loving family. All three of their girls are very different but watching them interact made me that much more excited to have my own two little girls to love each other. Thanks for a great session, guys! I can’t wait to see the Christmas cards!

    Same moment, different view. That’s what I love about doing sessions with my husband!

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